BR-176 Mississippi College is on fire right now, blazing through the women’s soccer landscape, taking no prisoners en route to a 4-0 start to its 2015 campaign.
The Choctaws started their year off with an alumni exhibition and this squad didn’t hold back when playing its predecessors, winning 9-0. Then came the regular season and Mississippi freshmen Jess Davenport and Lauren Smith led the squad to a 7-0 victory over D-III Belhaven with each athlete scoring two goals in the contest. In the net it was freshman Andrea McDonald picking up her first career shutout in her first career start.
Facing its first fellow D-II school in its second game of the season, the Choctaws’ offense stayed strong in a 4-1 victory over BR-227 Delta State. This time the team found itself down 1-0 early in the game, but battled back as senior Sayit Mejia Bello found the back of the net twice in the second half to lead the way. The defense was just as tight in this contest, allowing only five shots.
“We played a very good match today,” head coach Darryl Longabaugh said in a release from the college. “The best part was the attitude of the team after they went up 1-0. It didn’t shake us at all.”
In its third game of the year, Mississippi moved up to take on D-I Jackson State and the result was the same — a 2-0 shutout. This time it was sophomore Caitlin Hayes with two goals coming in a six minute span.
On Sunday, the Choctaws returned to D-II opposition, blasting its way to a 4-0 win over BR-226 Ouachita Baptist. All four of the team’s goals came in the second half with Hayes grabbing two, Bello adding one and junior Sydney Oliver chipping in with one.
Mississippi College (4-0) is off to its best start since 2008 when it went 4-0 to open the season and rolled to an 11-1 record at one point. The team has a perfect mix of a potent offense combined with a stout defense.
McDonald has three shutouts already, allowing just one goal in 360 minutes of play, posting a 0.25 goals against average — one of the best in the country — while grabbing 11 saves for a 0.917 save percentage.
Offensively, Bello and Hayes each have four goals on the early season and Bello also has four assists. Four other women have found the back of the net at least twice so far as the squad has gotten off 90 shots (53 on goal) proving that if you take enough shots, some are bound to find their way between the posts. This is an offensive minded team, but coach Longabaugh hasn’t forgotten about the defense, which has allowed just 30 shots.
Next up for the Choctaws is a rematch with Ouachita on Saturday at home. Keep an eye on this team throughout the rest of the season.